Sir Paul McCartney has paid tribute to Michael Jackson, who died following cardiac arrest in Los Angeles on 25 June 2009.
It’s so sad and shocking. I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.
I send my deepest sympathy to his mother and the whole family and to his countless fans all around the world.
In 1982 McCartney featured on Jackson’s record-selling Thriller album, collaborating on the duet The Girl Is Mine. The pair teamed up again for Say Say Say, and a third duet, The Man, both of which appeared on McCartney’s fifth solo album Pipes Of Peace (1983).
During the recording sessions for the album Jackson temporarily stayed at the home of Paul and Linda McCartney. One night McCartney told Jackson of the songs he owned the publishing rights to, revealing that he made large amounts of money each year from other people’s songs.
This is the way to make big money Every time someone records one of these songs, I get paid. Every time someone plays these songs on the radio, or in live performances, I get paid.
Soon afterwards, in 1985, Jackson bought ATV, in a deal worth $47.5 million. ATV owned Northern Songs, the publishing company set up by Dick James and Brian Epstein in 1963 and which owned the rights to the majority of The Beatles’ songs. The move resulted in a well-publicised falling out between McCartney and Jackson. McCartney said: “I think it’s dodgy to do things like that. To be someone’s friend and then buy the rug they’re standing on.”
On 7 November 1995 Jackson and the Sony Corporation merged their music publishing business, making them joint owners of The Beatles’ publishing along with songs performed by Elvis Presley and Little Richard. The deal netted Jackson $95 million.
From 2005 Jackson’s 50% stake was used as collateral for a $270 million loan from Bank of America. It is unknown what will happen to the stake following Jackson’s death, although rumours that it was left to McCartney in his will are unlikely to prove positive.